WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Jeff Spevak

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle. He has also been published in Musician and High Times magazines, contributed to WXXI, City newspaper and Post magazine, and occasionally performs spoken-word pieces around town. Some of his haikus written during the Rochester jazz festival were self-published in a book of sketches done by Scott Regan, the host of WRUR’s Open Tunings show. Spevak founded an award-winning barbecue team, The Smokin’ Dopes, and believes Bigfoot is real. His book on the life of a Lake Ontario sailor who survived the sinking of his ship during World War II will be published in April of 2019 by Lyons Press.

HomeStage: The Demos

May 28, 2020

Here's a little Q&A with Jason Milton from The Demos before the group performs "Meet at Night" for you on HomeStage. The group consists of Jason Milton, Caela Moore, Callan Saunders, Jeremiah O’Reilly, and Alex Durr.

Perhaps the vehicle to lead us out of the coronavirus pandemic will be our cars.

The car. In which we are hermetically sealed. Unless we roll down the windows, which is bound to happen as summer arrives. One thing COVID-19 cannot stop.

Alan Zweibel hears voices in his head.

"All the time, when I'm writing -- and this goes on for many, many years -- the TV is on when I'm writing at home," he says. "The volume is down, and it's usually a show that I've seen before. 'Law and Order,' you know, 'SVU.' Something that's not going to take my mind off my work, but it's like a white noise in the background, there's an ambience to it. And if something does catch my eye, between sentences or paragraphs, I'll turn the volume up a little. But it is a constant companion."

If there is something positive to come out of this coronavirus pandemic, Greg Townson says, it may be in something once uttered by one of the minds behind Monty Python.

"Believe it or not," Townson says, "I think it was John Cleese who said, 'In order to be creative, you have to have at least three hours of uninterrupted time that you're devoting to your project.' "

Darick Campbell, one of the trio of brothers who made up the scintillating Rochester sacred-steel band The Campbell Brothers, has died.

The band announced the news Monday morning on Facebook that Campbell had passed away in Atlanta, where he lived. No cause of death was given.

Together with his older brothers Chuck and Phillip, and his nephew Carlton, The Campbell Brothers emerged from the closeted world of their church to take their sound across the United States, Europe, Africa and even China.

There's a new album out by The Heavy Love Trust's titled "Always Kinda Nothing". Check it out on your favorite streaming platform. 

To mark the release, we've got The Heavy Love Trust's Benton Sillick with us on HomeStage to play the only song he's written during quarantine.

Had it been a minute faster, or a minute slower, on a 2,825-mile journey, the Titanic might have been just another passenger ship that never met an iceberg.

That's the cruelty of timing. We're seeing it now in the arts, as musicians gauge whether they should release a new work in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, or wait until it's OK to throw a party.

Here's what the coronavirus pandemic is teaching us:

Slow down.

Monday morning, Facebook greeted me with this message:

You have seven events coming up this week.

Seven. That list used to run into the hundreds.

We don't know what to do with ourselves. Have we forgotten what the arts can do for us?

HomeStage: John Dady

Apr 21, 2020

Looks like we won't have live in-person concerts for a bit, so we'll bring some performances to you, with a series called HomeStage.

Jeff Spevak presents Rochester Music Hall of Famer John Dady. We'll have more performances for you by Rochester's talented musicians from the most intimate stage of all...their homes! 

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